GVSU was recently featured in EdTech Magazine in an article entitled: “Active-Learning Buildings Showcase New Teaching Philosophies“. The article highlights the importance of active learning spaces on campuses that: encourage collaboration and exploration by design; infuse technology deliberately; and ultimately facilitate student success.
“That active-learning classrooms are catching on in higher ed really isn’t a surprise,” says Eric Kunnen, associate director of e-learning and emerging technologies at Michigan’s Grand Valley State University.
“To me, though, the next step is going to be when universities start designing buildings to be collaborative from the ground up.” He believes that, eventually, these environments will be critical not only to attracting students, but also to facilitating students’ success.
“When you build a space devoted to active learning that infuses technology and deliberately encourages collaboration and exploration, you’re creating a kind of academic beacon on a hill,” Kunnen says. “You’re telling students and faculty to think differently about what’s possible, and that this physical facility is there to support them.”
At GVSU, there are currently a variety of “Technology Enhanced and Active Learning Classrooms“, with more in planning as renovation and new building construction is envisioned.
In brief, active learning classrooms provide a unique faculty and student experience as the spaces include flexible and movable furniture and technology to support:
- a student-centered design
- enhanced collaboration
- increased faculty/student engagement
- improved interaction through dynamic group work and classroom communication
Introducing the Active Learning Building at GVSU – Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons
Photos retrieved from steelcase.com “A Student’s Story on Active Learning“
Finally, the one of the best examples of an active learning building is the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons. Steelcase featured a story “A Student’s Story on Active Learning” that illustrates the value of an “ecosystem of spaces” supporting diverse learning settings.
Emerging Technologies in the Atomic Object Technology Showcase
In addition, the eLearning team is focusing on the intersection between education, technology, and innovation through the Atomic Object Technology Showcase which is located on the Atrium level of the Mary Idema Pew Library.